Both Ends – Review

In the last issue of Motley Magazine, I sat down with Trick Mist as he was preparing the launch of his debut album Both Ends. A Christmas break and a few gigs in Cork, Dundalk, London, and Manchester later, here we are with our copy of the awaited LP.

The introduction of the album certainly is memorable and unique. A simple juxtaposition of a train and what seems to be a prayer or chants, without any music, grounds us in reality. We are not in an album, we are in the real world, walking. Slowly, the instrumentation kicks in, merging with the recorded sounds. From this moment onwards, we are transitioning from the worldly to the artistic. The railroad, the chants, and the final secular prayer seem like a send-off to a personal quest. We already have a sense of this blending of Irish culture and international travels, as the remarkably Indian sounds hover over this quintessentially Irish phrase: We don’t believe in God anymore, but we said a prayer for you last night.

In our previous interview Trick Mist told us that the album would ‘marry the deeply thoughtful with more expressive, off the cuff, raw stuff’. The change from the opening track to Beyond Your Means presents this. This is where the strength of the album lies. The generosity of what it offers to its listeners. One may receive the LP as a concept album, the story of a young expatriate attached to their land of origin but in search of new experiences through travels. Or you may very well just appreciate the novel sounds and original use of electronic music as simply an auditory experience, at times pleasing and relaxing, at times unconventional and raw. From whichever end you perceive this album, you cannot deny its power.

What is particularly skilful is Trick Mist’s ability to both make this album incredibly personal through the vocals and the themes conveyed, whilst also acting as a witness to the world, erasing oneself to show us striking images, such as the scene found in Green Grass.

The album finishes with probably my favourite track on the record, Snatch. Contrasting with the intense opening track, it balances Both Ends to make it a full and coherent album that works well as a whole.

If you want to challenge yourself and experience something that is fresh, purchase this record. With an Irish and European scene dominated with familiar indie rock and pop music, it would be a shame to miss out on such an innovative work of music.